Sunday, September 6, 2009

Native Son by Richard Wright

Bigger Thomas is an African-American growing up in Chicago during the Great Depression. When he accidentally kills Mary Dalton, the daughter of the family he's working for, he burns her body and sends the family a ransom note to cover up his crime. When her bones are discovered in the basement furnace, Bigger must run for his life. But the police and hundreds of volunteers comb the city streets for Bigger and soon he is captured and taken into police custody. Now Bigger is charged with both rape and murder, though he is only guilty of one, and has little hope of escaping the electric chair.

This was the last book I had to read for summer reading and when I finished it, I sighed a breath a relief. It actually wasn't too bad, but I was so glad to be finally done the reading portion. I didn't mind reading Native Son too much. It was written in the forties, but the language wasn't any different than today's. The book was interesting, but the parts about Bigger killing Mary Dalton and stuffing her in the furnace were actually pretty gruesome. What I didn't like about Native Son was that I felt that Bigger didn't learn from his mistake (killing Mary). It seemed like he resolved himself to the fact that he would eventually kill someone, instead of feeling remorseful about her death. All in all, it was probably better than most other classics my teacher could have chosen from, but it definitely wasn't anything spectacular.

5 out of 10.

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